Isaiah 57 (Today's New International Version)

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1 The righteous perish,1 and no one takes it to heart;2 the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.3 2 Those who walk uprightly4 enter into peace; they find rest5 as they lie in death. 3 "But you--come here, you children of a sorceress,6 you offspring of adulterers7 and prostitutes!8 4 Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels,9 the offspring of liars? 5 You burn with lust among the oaks10 and under every spreading tree;11 you sacrifice your children12 in the ravines and under the overhanging crags. 6 The idols13 among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; they, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings14 and offered grain offerings. In view of all this, should I relent?15 7 You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;16 there you went up to offer your sacrifices.17 8 Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love,18 and you looked on their nakedness.19 9 You went to Moleka20 with olive oil and increased your perfumes.21 You sent your ambassadorsb22 far away; you descended to the very realm of the dead!23 10 You wearied24 yourself by such going about, but you would not say, 'It is hopeless.'25 You found renewal of your strength,26 and so you did not faint. 11 "Whom have you so dreaded and feared27 that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered28 me nor taken this to heart?29 Is it not because I have long been silent30 that you do not fear me? 12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,31 and they will not benefit you. 13 When you cry out32 for help, let your collection of idols save33 you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow34 them away. But whoever takes refuge35 in me will inherit the land36 and possess my holy mountain."37

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road!38 Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people."39 15 For this is what the high and exalted40 One says-- he who lives forever,41 whose name is holy: "I live in a high42 and holy place, but also with those who are contrite43 and lowly in spirit,44 to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.45 16 I will not accuse46 them forever, nor will I always be angry,47 for then they would faint away because of me-- the very people48 I have created. 17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;49 I punished them, and hid50 my face in anger, yet they kept on in their willful ways.51 18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal52 them; I will guide53 them and restore comfort54 to them, 19 creating praise on the lips55 of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace,56 to those far and near,"57 says the LORD. "And I will heal them." 20 But the wicked58 are like the tossing sea,59 which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire60 and mud. 21 "There is no peace,"61 says my God, "for the wicked."62
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